Developers broke ground Monday on a 28,000 square foot data center in St. George, Utah, which will provide companies in southern Utah with a local alternative to colocation services in Salt Lake City or Las Vegas. Local developer Kay Traveller is building the Tonaquint Data Center on land within the Tonaquint Business Park.
The Tonaquint project is yet another example of the expanding geography of the data center business. While data centers were once focused on major Internet markets such as Silicon Valley, New York and Washington, D.C., projects are now being built in many smaller cities and rural areas. This trend reflects growing demand for IT services in smaller markets, as well as the impact of energy prices on data center site location. St. George is a city of 67,000 in southern Utah, and the eight-largest city in the state.
The Tonaquint data center will feature 20,000 square feet of raised floor space. Construction is expected to take nine months, with another two months to make it operational. "The building should be ready for operations by the third quarter of 2008," said Traveller, owner of Tonaquint Development. "The data center will be the only tier 3 rated data facility between Salt Lake and Las Vegas."
Traveller said the facility will offer managed services in addition to colocation, and have access to "a number of global fiber-optic networks." Fiber connectivity has traditionally been a challenge for data centers in smaller markets, where carriers are often reluctant to run fiber without existing customers.
Traveller's background is primarily in residential development, as he has built numerous home communities in St. George, where he has focused his business since the mid-1970s. He later built the Tonaquint Business Park, a five-year old development designed to attract high-tech firms to the area.